Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mayor Bartlett's Mentoring to the Max Breakfast 2016, Part I

For the past few years, we have been honored and excited to attend the Mentoring to the Max Breakfast with Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett, Jr. Each year the breakfast's programming differs but always informs the community and promotes mentoring, especially in the Tulsa area. What Tulsa is doing, however, is applicable everywhere.

View toward the stage and podium
This year Mayor and First Lady Bartlett and Kuma Browne Roberts,  program manager for Partners in Education for the Tulsa Regional Chamber as well as co-planner and co-host for the annual event, decided to recognize northeastern Oklahoma mentors who were honored at Oklahoma Mentor Day earlier in January. On the back of the event program was a list of those honorees (See below.). Also, during the event, Mayor Bartlett asked those outstanding mentors to stand. Northeastern Oklahoma representatives from all of the Boren Mentoring Initiative's network were also invited to attend.

Mayor Bartlett listens as First Lady Victoria Bartlett
shares information about Tulsa mentoring.

This blogger's summary from the breakfast:

Explore Downtown Tulsa
The George Kaiser Foundation in Tulsa began the Explore Downtown Tulsa program and Tulsa Community Foundation supports it. Explore Downtown Tulsa is a vehicle to get inner city poor kids to connect with the community and see a vision for the future.

Road Trip for Teachers 
The purpose of this initiative is to get teachers into businesses to see and also learn about skills industries need for the future workforce.

Note: Ben Robinson began something similar for Boeing in Oklahoma City and has been expanding the program. Some Oklahoma City teachers involved in this program have also been to NORDAM and other Tulsa companies.

Front of program -
Back of program in following post

Three aerospace engineers from NORDAM spoke about NORDAM’s long-time, highly successful program. Interns spend 12-weeks at NORDAM to receive a high-quality experience. They are taught presentation skills, take personality and aptitude tests designed for industry, are matched with an engineering mentor, and actually work on a current NORDAM project. Brock Lindsey, the youngest engineer, was himself an intern while in college. When Lindsey graduated, he took his internship certificate, applied for a job, was hired, and has now had seven mentors of his own at NORDAM.

PDF guide about how to start an internship program 

Virtual Job Shadow 
Rana McVay of Tulsa Public Schools introduced this program. After it was brought to her attention and TPS researched it, TPS bought it. Dee Phillips-Goodnight, an East Central High School teacher, and Landon Wolf, one of her students who has used the program extensively, spoke about it. Using the program has proven so successful, that the Tulsa Partners in Education (Chamber) and TPS are making virtual job shadow videos for the Tulsa area businesses—not associated with the VJS program but based upon its video models. Virtual Job Shadow has interactive activities such as résumés, etc. Surely, a consortium of businesses and/or the foundation could launch a pilot of VJS to evaluate results in OKCPS. Or not.

  First Aerospace Academy
“With the support of Tulsa Tech and Tulsa Public Schools, the first-ever Aerospace Academy in the state launched Aug. 17, 2015 at Tulsa Tech/R.L. Jones Airport. When high school students complete this program, they’ll not only receive a high school diploma and training from the Aerospace Academy, they can attend Tulsa Community College through the Tulsa Achieves program and receive an associate’s degree in a technical discipline, all for free.” 

Early Childhood Initiative 
Last but not least, the First Lady was approached to spearhead an early childhood program that doesn’t have city, state, or federal money. She has been going into churches and speaking with pastors to begin birth to school-age, i.e., early childhood education, conversations, so that economically challenged children will not enter school with 400-word vocabularies. The average child enters with about a 1500-word vocabulary according to research. 

Follow-up: The church/faith-based early childhood initiative is in the very beginning stages. The First Lady just began visiting with the pastors about this initiative, which is supported by the George Kaiser Family Foundation. The purpose is to engage low-income parents about the importance of interacting with young infants to help with the first formative years of their lives. Educational messages will target low-income families with a three-prong approach: faith-based communities; medical; and the business community.

[Note: Ultimately, this could result in more religious institutions' beginning specific programs for early childhood and families.The potential is enormous.]

These two Tulsa Public School mentees had a very
important part in the program. See the next blog post.
Other cities across the country have taken on this initiative and because Tulsa is already recognized as the best place in America for Early Childhood Education – through its Educare program – Tulsa wants to be recognized as the national leader in this effort to engage babies from birth with verbal communications: talking, singing, reading, playing, etc.

Thanks to Tulsa Regional Chamber and its wildly successful Partners in Education program.

Photos graciously provided by: 
Pam Listar
Communications Officer
City of Tulsa Communications Department

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